Tottenham sporting director Fabio Paratici had something of a mixed record in his former role at Juventus – but what kind of legacy did he leave?
After Juventus were found guilty of false accounting, Paratici was served a lengthy 30-month ban by the Italian FA. FIFA have since stepped in and extended that ban worldwide, leading Spurs to put out a statement “urgently seeking further clarification” about what that means for their managing director.
The 50-year-old Italian originally joined Juventus back in May 2010, serving as ‘head of technical affairs’ under new general manager Giuseppe Marotta.
They enjoyed great success as Juventus won nine Serie A titles in a row, with signings like Andrea Barzagli, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez and Paolo Dybala proving certified hits.
But Paratici’s record as sporting director after stepping into Marotta’s shoes wasn’t quite as impressive. During his two-and-a-half year reign between November 2018 and May 2021, Juventus lost their grip at the top of Serie A, and have since been plunged into financial instability.
We’ve revisited his 10 permanent signings as Juventus sporting director. We’ve not included loanees like Alvaro Morata or Federico Chiesa, who signed his permanent deal after Paratici left.
Juventus bloody loved a free signing during their imperial era and that grand tradition continued with the signing of Ramsey after his contract expired at Arsenal in the summer of 2019.
The Gunners cult hero scored three goals in his debut 2019-20 Scudetto-winning campaign but failed to ever reach the heights he did in his Arsenal pomp.
He moved further and further towards the periphery over the course of his three-year deal and ended up leaving with a whimper after a half-season loan to Rangers.
Nowadays the 32-year-old Wales international is turning out alongside Ross Barkley, Kasper Schmeichel and Morgan Schneiderlin for Ligue 1 club Nice.
Another freebie, the World Cup-winning France international left PSG when his contract expired at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Having won five league titles during his time in Paris, his winning streak continued with a Serie A title in his debut campaign in Turin. But his influence waned over the years and he was strongly linked with a move away – most notably to Manchester United – last summer.
Rabiot ended up staying put in the end and has served a reminder he can be a pretty useful midfielder for club and country throughout the 2022-23 campaign.
He’s out of contract in the summer and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him follow Ramsey as a player that was signed – and then left – for nowt.
After making over 500 Serie A appearances over the course of his first 17-year stint at PSG, Buffon made the surprise decision to leave for PSG at the age of 40.
He spent a year in Paris, rotating with Alphonse Areola and winning an obligatory Ligue 1 title before making the return to Turin.
The veteran ‘keeper accepted his role as back-up to Wojciech Szczesny and made 17 Serie A appearances across two seasons in his second stint. He left for good in 2021 and is still turning out at the age of 45(!) for boyhood club Parma in Serie B.
Juventus signed the 21-year-old centre-back for €18million from Sassuolo as they looked to move to transition to a new era beyond Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci.
Demiral never staked a convincing claim to feature at the heart of the Old Lady’s backline and was loaned out to Atalanta in 2021. He’s since joined Gian Piero Gasperini’s all-action side on a permanent deal, making Juventus a small profit in a €20million move.
Matthijs De Ligt
The first true Galactico signing of Paratici’s directorship, De Ligt had established a reputation as one of the best young defenders in the world, having shone in Ajax’s unforgettable run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2017-18.
Juventus had to pay a sizeable €75million fee to secure De Ligt’s signature. He was just 19 at the time but it seemed a sound investment given he looked capable of being the future of Juventus’ famously sturdy defence.
The Netherlands international made over 100 appearances but didn’t prove to be their long-term solution. He left for Bayern Munich after three years in Italy and made them a small profit, having left for an €80million fee.
“I still had two years left on my contract at Juventus, I became a complete defender there, but I felt it was time for a new challenge, a new environment,” De Ligt later explained in an interview with German outlet Kicker.
Juventus allowed Joao Cancelo to leave for Man City in an eyebrow-raising and somewhat convoluted swap deal that saw Brazilian full-back Danilo move in the opposite direction.
City also paid €28million. It seemed pretty good business by City, given Cancelo developed into one of Europe’s best-attacking full-backs before seemingly burning his bridges with Pep Guardiola.
Danilo struggled under Sarri but kicked on and is now into his fourth season with the club.
The forward caught the eye as one of Serie A’s most exciting young prospects whilst out on loan at Parma in the 2019-20 campaign. Juventus acted decisively to sign Kulusevski from parent club Atalanta for €35million in January 2020.
The Sweden international saw out the remainder of his season-long loan with Parma before joining up with his new club in the summer. He never quite delivered on his potential in 18 months with Juventus, scoring just five goals in 55 appearances for the Old Lady.
But Paratici is evidently a big fan of the winger and he signed him for a second time at Tottenham. His faith was vindicated as Kulusevski started out like a house on fire, playing a starring role as Antonio Conte’s Spurs pipped Arsenal to Champions League qualification.
His initial 18-month loan from Juventus will be made a permanent move this summer.
It's got even worse for Leeds… 😩
Dejan Kulusevski cuts in from the right-wing and finds a gap at the near post to slot home 🎯
2-0 to Tottenham after 15 minutes… pic.twitter.com/EdLJmBw1ux
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 26, 2022
The official fee to sign the Brazilian midfielder was said to be €72million. Miralem Pjanic moved to Barcelona for a similarly head-spinning fee. “False accounting”, you say?
Arthur remains on Juve’s books and is currently out on loan at Liverpool. He’s played a grand total of 13 minutes in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds this season.
Having originally impressed while on loan from Bundesliga club Schalke, Juventus exercised their option to sign the industrious American midfielder for an €18.5million in March 2021.
He had his moments in Serie A but never quite nailed down a place as an undisputed starter under Massimiliano Allegri.
McKennie is currently out on loan at Leeds United, where he’s joined up with his US international team-mates Tyler Adams and Brendan Aaronson. It’s widely understood that the 24-year-old will sign permanently for Leeds if they stay up and he makes a certain number of appearances.
Watch him go and put ketchup on a Yorkshire pudding next.
Weston McKennie offending half of the Juventus dressing room by saying American ranch sauce belongs on pizza is golden content.
— Amos Murphy (@AmosMurphy_) November 25, 2021
Mandragora has been capped once by Italy and has a strange, back-and-forth career. He was originally signed by Juventus in 2016 but only made a single appearance and was loaned out to Crotone before being sold to Udinese in 2018.
After two impressive years at the Stadio Friuli, Juventus signed him a second time. He arrived for a €10.7million fee and signed a five-year contract in October 2020 but was immediately loaned back to Udinese for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
He didn’t make a single appearance in his second stint and was later loaned out to Torino before being sold to Fiorentina at a slight loss last summer. Bizarre business.